SLABS OF (DEAD) MEAT: A DEFINITIVE RATING OF THE MEN OF ‘FRIDAY THE 13th’ [THE CONCLUSION]

 

For a franchise chock full of over-the-top gore, acting, hairstyles, wardrobes and drug use, one current always runs throughout each and every film – the male gaze on the unclothed female form. The vast majority of the young male adolescents’ gaze upon viewing the entries in FRIDAY THE 13th is focused on seeing the private parts of various female counselors and women in a state of undress, that it’s easy to forget, nay ignore the major part of the franchise viewership — the female audience. I say this can go unaddressed no longer! It’s time to let the women and men get their due! It’s time to focus our gaze on the males! We need a list of the best-looking men that FRIDAY THE 13th can offer. How do we rank them? Well, obviously the good-looking ones will go higher up and the homely ones will get dead last. But, personality is an important factor in these lists too. So, a good-looking guy can have a shit personality and a homelier guy can have a beautiful personality. With those disparities in mind, let’s rate the men* of FRIDAY THE 13th!

 

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FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988)

 

 

Jason sets his sights on a young girl and her mother and a group of teens partying in a fuckhouse. Erm … yeah, it’s still like THE FINAL CHAPTER. Featuring more disconnected characters who feel less like friends and more like bang buddies in your average porn film, THE NEW BLOOD slashes its way across your screen with telekinetic money shots! You’ll gasp at the psychic powers of Tina Shepard. You’ll laugh at the penis enlarger scene! You’ll miss the days when Kane Hodder was still allowed to be Jason. Take a dip in the swamps of Crystal Lake and rank the men of THE NEW BLOOD.

 

 

Nick (played by Kevin Spirtas): Kevin Spiritas nee Blair fits the bill of hunky lead alongside the eventual heroine of the film. Beyond that, there’s not much more to Nick. It’s all surface stuff. He’s there for his cousin’s birthday. That’s pretty much it for backstory. The rich snob likes him, but it never feels like nothing more than checking the boxes of horror movie archetypes. He’s not the greatest potential suitor, ribbing his would-be lover with images of cartoon elephants – a lover who has psychiatric problems it’s worth mentioning. There’s also the clear non-existent chemistry between himself and Tina. Also, when it comes to battling Jason, Nick doesn’t put up much of a fight,  instead relying on Tina to save the day. I know this is by design for the film, gotta show off those psychic powers, but I kind of like that almost all entries in the film have a woman saving the hero and saving the day.

 

Michael (played by William Butler): You’d think at this point the denizens of Crystal Lake would figure out to keep their cars in good repair. Actually, the adorable William Butler (never do see what color his underwear is) ALWAYS has bad luck with cars. To the franchise’s credit, they only pulled the “broken down car leads to Jason killing people” gambit once, previously employed in A NEW BEGINNING. But what a run of crummy luck poor Michael has: his car breaks down, his birthday surprise is spoiled by his girlfriend, and he gets killed by a tent spike into his back. There’s not much to Michael to be honest. He’s really just the key to the plot, because everybody is out by the lake for his birthday party. Michael dies on his birthday weekend. Bummer.

 

Ben (played by Craig Thomas): People of color have been tragically underrepresented (read: in all films, media and basically everywhere) in the FRIDAY THE 13th films. There’s only a handful of notable black and Latino characters in the films up to this point.  Unfortunately, the forward momentum in adding characters like Reggie who have something more to do than get killed doesn’t extend to Ben. This character is given nothing to do at all. Read lines, have sex and die. Yes, that’s what almost all the characters do in this film, but Ben’s all surface. He’s black, has a girlfriend that he has a nothing argument with and then dies. To the writer’s credit, he’s not defined by his skin color, but he’s not defined at all. Just meat for the grindstone. They could have given him a role with a MODICUM of character. Hell, the lead even! At least he has a cute girlfriend. I need to point out that Craig Thomas in the 1980s looked like a dead ringer for Jordan Peele. That translates to handsome, babies. Sadly, Ben’s death is really the most memorable thing about his character. His head get crushed by Jason in a bloody, pulpy mess. It’s practically (and practical) Tromatic.

 

Dan (played by Michael Schroeder): We know so little about Dan, because the film just abruptly cuts to him for a little carnage to bloody the wheels. It does give us the iconic sleeping bag kill, at least. That’s really it. He just chose to camp in the woods near Crystal Lake. Do these dumb-dumbs ever figure out the score or what? I get that Jason was dead and all, but why risk it? Dan chose poorly. Dan’s cute in a goofy sort of way — his dead meat girlfriend calls him a “big hunk of a man (footage not found).” I like how his girlfriend not-so-subtly suggests he get some firewood or he ain’t getting any.  Jason overkills this poor sap. First, he punches a hole right through his back and then snaps his neck. Jesus!

 

 

Eddie (played by Jeff Bennett): Eddie’s the token nerd in the film. You know that jagoff that’s always going on about how their next novel or screenplay is the greatest thing in the world? That’s Eddie. He goes on about Starlicon and Star Mummy and all these dumb sounding sci-fi novels. He also comes off as a dick, helping the rich snob make fun of Tina, and screws the pooch with regards to hooking up with said rich snob.  I suppose he wooed her with his cute combo of white undershirt and tighty-whities. But dude, do you think the ultimate kiss-off is telling her you’ve been rejected by some of the greatest magazines in the world? Ooh, sick burn to her!  Also, what does “I’ve got a date with a soap on a rope mean? Are you going to hang it from your erection? And his death scene — opening presents right before getting his head chopped off — is the silliest thing to happen in a movie full of silly moments.

 

 

David (played by Jon Renfield): David is the token stoner hunk in the film; he hooks up with the friend of the girl who’s crushing on him. His key trait is his obliviousness. “What a stupid place to put a lamp,” says this stoner. He completely misses Jason hiding in the corner of the kitchen (which admittedly is a nice spook scene), and dies getting stabbed in the stomach. I laugh every time I think about him hunched over, looking for food in the dark refrigerator, wheeling around at the person approaching him and saying “Maddy?” It’s darkly humorous that his last line and Maddy’s last line before Jason kills her are their names. They were star-crossed lovers and ignored the signs!

 

 

Russell (played by Larry Cox): The token rich, preppy guy. Not much more there is to him. That and the considerable size of his wallet. All right, maybe he’s defined by his splashy wardrobe — pastels and sweaters. He’s like geek-ass Ted, only with more money and somehow less muscle definition. His time spent in the film is being the stuffed shirt, complaining about his “friends” wrecking the joint and lamp shading the fact that he’s snogging with his girlfriend despite the fact that his family owns the place. It’s a swamp-side property. Standards aren’t high, Russell. He lets his preppy hair down, only in the last moments of his life, about to go skinny-dipping with his girl, but he gets an axe to the face courtesy of the swamp thing himself, Jason Voorhees.

 

Dr. Crews (played by Terry Kiser): Tina’s mom chooses to replace one physically abusive man with a mentally abusive one. How did he even get a degree with his shady tactics? Not only does he bring a traumatized girl to the site of a place that’s sure to bring up bad memories (a tactic employed by all the bad doctors in all the bad movies), but he knowingly hides evidence proving that his patient isn’t crazy, he pushes her to the point of mentally breaking and attacking him, and worst of all, he pushes an innocent victim into Jason’s way, getting her killed and becoming a big old audience loser. At least his death, badly-edited as it is, is violent and swift — Jason sawing his guts up with a weed whacker (I think). Bad News Crews, indeed.

 

John Shepard/Tina’s Dad (played by John Otrin): I abhor that this film turns a drunk, abusive piece of shit into the hero by the film’s end. It makes no goddamn sense. Tina shouldn’t care for this asshole. He hurt her mom. And she killed him by dropping a pier onto him, drowning him! What the hell were the filmmakers thinking, drinking, smoking or snorting when they made this decision? This whole time Tina ably handles Jason, and in the end she needs to be rescued by a man? No dice, no deal. Also, he’s a waterlogged ghost-corpse. Pass on this dud.

 

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13th PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1988)

 

Jason hitches a ride on a cruise ship bound for the Rotten Apple (a ship that somehow traveled through a Canadian wormhole), killing anyone who gets in his way, whether it be amateur musicians, boxers, cokeheads, and creepy deckhands, or new fathers. And once he makes his way to New York, he’ll set his sights on the worst menace of all – boom boxes. While Jason takes Manhattan, let’s take a look at the ranking of the men of PART VIII.

 

Julius (played by Vincent Craig Dupree): Dude’s a buff, badass boxer who’s a hit with the ladies. And he wears a tracksuit nearly the entire time. I love the scene where the shit’s hit the fan on the ship and everyone gathers all the weapons, and Julius smirks that he only needs his fists, then after a beat, he grabs a shotgun. It’s such good timing. Really, he’s the take-charge hero, especially in the scene where the people have gathered in the ship’s bridge and Sean, that glass of warm milk, isn’t doing shit. I wish he would’ve lasted longer in the film, though. Now, everyone has fought Jason with all manner of weapons, but Julius fights him with his fists! And the scene where he pummels Jason until he’s expended all his energy is an all-timer! The slow, measured pacing, no music, just the sounds of the city and of wet meat being hit over and over and over again. When Jason punches his head off, it’s a great punctuation to a great character’s demise.

 

Toby (played by Ace): Aww, Toby’s so adorable. That frigging bandanna? But how does he find his way back to Sean and Rennie at the film’s end? There’s no way in hell this dog survives 1980s New York. At least he’s spared the wrath of Jason, because dogs haven’t had a good run in the films. Whether it be Muffin (were those mangled remains Muffin?) or Gordon committing suicide, at least this pup had an audience-pleasing ending. Ace is a great dog actor too, right up there with Jake the Dog.

 

Sean (played by Scott Reeves): Sean is probably the worst final boy in the franchise. He’s just ineffective as a hero. He doesn’t really show any action on the ship, I think diving in to save Rennie when she goes overboard is about it, but later he has to be needled into action to try and save the shipgoers after his father is killed. Rennie’s the one to tell him they need to drop anchor. The reason he’s spared our favorite hockey-masked killer’s wrath is that he’s a cute boy and OMG wouldn’t he and Rennie just make the best couple evaaaar. He’s riddled with daddy issues, his father is hard on him because he didn’t want to follow instructions on how to set the ship on course. My favorite moment is towards the end of the film, when Jason kills the sewage worker. Jason attacks the worker and rams him right into Sean, who proceeds to go down like a sack of potatoes. I don’t even think he quarrels with Jason, except when he tackles Jason onto the third rail in the subways. Rennie for all her faults, actually attacks Jason, throwing a bucket of that shit that Jack Napier fell into before he turned into the Joker onto Jason. Hell, Sean doesn’t even rescue Rennie from the junkies — Jason does!

 

Miles (played by Gordon Currie): Miles is a nothing character in JASON TAKES MANHATTAN. I don’t think he has a single line of substance in the entire film. He’s a blonde-haired moppet sidekick to Sean, but he’s just a hang-arounder. I know there was supposed to be more to his character, that he was an Olympic diver based on comments Rob Hedden made on his script, but there’s nothing of that in this film. The most noteworthy thing surrounding his death is how they amp up the teleporting Jason aspect they’ve been increasing exponentially throughout the later films. He dies when Jason tosses him onto a radio antenna, getting impaled through the chest.

 

Wayne (played by Martin Cummins): Wayne is a butthead. Instead of hanging out with his smoking hot friend, JJ, he’d rather creep on Tamara to get blackmail footage to take down their teacher. When will these nerds learn that the blond snobs don’t ever want them for anything but to fulfill their own insidious purposes (like in THE NEW BLOOD, with Melissa using Eddie to get to Nick). Don’t think with your dick, think with your brain, Wayne! His chief trait is “camera guy” and I like that it factors into his death scene. Wayne gets his glasses blown off by a timely burst of steam (also managing to be the only non-Voorhees to actually kill a person in the whole franchise), and he uses the camera to find his way through the dark underbelly of the ship, before he runs into that slime ball Jason — who proceeds to throw him onto an electric panel, setting him ablaze and causing the ship to sink. Way to break it, dumbass! Oh, and I giggle every time I see Wayne, because he totally looks like Garth Algar. Whether or not this was an homage on Rob Hedden’s part, I have no idea, but ironically or unironically, it works.

 

 

Jim/Chief Engineer (played by Fred Henderson): Another nothing character, and the second of two Jims that Jason targets in the film. He’s just there to serve as the guilty conscience for the Admiral. This death is at least a little sadder because he mentions he’s got a kid back home. His death is shot in a pretty cool way, from the outside of the bridge, with Jason stabbing him in the lower back (the ass?) with a harpoon.

 

 

Jim (played by Todd Caldecott): Jim looks like Peter Barton in a permed-out wig. Dead Meat Jim #1 is such an idiot it’s a wonder he had the wherewithal to graduate from Crystal Lake High. First, he takes his girlfriend out in his houseboat for a nighttime cruise, past the remnants of Camp Crystal Lake (when did they change it back from Forest Green?). Also, tangentially speaking, how did hooking an anchor to an electrical current resurrect Jason, but not do anything electrically to the boat? Then, when they’re getting down to the business of getting busy, he brings up the legend of Jason Voorhees. I get it from a purely expository sense, but I don’t think telling her tales of drowned children and mass murderers is going to make her engine rev up. Oh and then you later cosplay as the aforementioned mass murderer and fake that you’re stabbing her with a knife? Oh man, she’s bound to collapse into your bed now, instead of throwing your ass overboard, like any rational person would do. Jim’s sorry ass gets spear-gunned in the guts.

 

 

Deck Hand (played by Alex Diakun): This Crazy Ralph/Crazy Abel expy doesn’t even get a name, but if I had to give him something, it’d be Red Herring. I do love that they try to play him off as a killer too, specifically in the scene in the kitchen with that obvious shot of the knife dangling from the rack and then missing moments later. Oh, he delivers the portents of doom with hearty Canadian cheer, warning the shipgoers that Jason draws near. Unfortunately, his warning is unheeded, as he gets an axe in the back off-screen and dies in front of everyone.

 

Admiral Robertson (played by Warren Munson): One of the usual dick dad characters in the FRIDAY franchise is played with aplomb by Warren Munson. They try to show he’s a good father — he gives his son a present (a sextant?) on his graduation trip, but the writing makes him out to be a dick, when he’s really not. I don’t know how to read this guy. There’s not much for him to do, other than show frustration with his wet blanket son (I think they get a single scene together) and get killed, Jason presents him with a bloodless throat slashing.

 

 

Charles (played by Peter Mark Richman): Charles is a capital-A asshole. He chucks his niece into the water to teach her how to swim, nearly getting her drowned by Jason (I guess?), which is hypocritical, because then he chides Sean and Colleen for letting Rennie go overboard. He constantly gives shit to Colleen, the nice teacher, who helps Rennie, and bitches out Sean on the regular. Not to mention, he’s also perving on one of his students. It’s funny that he’s acting like he’s not into it, verbally expressing his discomfort with the whole seduction situation, but the tone of his voice is so feigned (kind of like how you act when someone is tickling you), it’s clear he’s totally down to grade her papers, so to speak.  The only couple of moments where his asshole facade disappears is when he comforts Sean after the death of his father, and when they arrive in New York, he actually smiles! But he gets drowned in a barrel of disgusting waste not too soon afterwards.

 

JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY (1993)

 

Jason Voorhees gets his maggoty ass blown up as part of an FBI sting. Now he’s transferring his way through the bodies of unlucky hosts seeking out his family so that he may be reborn to kill again. It’s all a little confusing. But it’s bloody and fun! Along the way, he’ll kill adulterous cops, horny campers (seriously, they auditioned for Red Shoe Diaries in that scene), jerk-ass burger slingers, and food-obsessed bounty hunters. Jason may go to Hell, but I’ll go ahead and rank the men of THE FINAL FRIDAY.

 

Creighton Duke (played by Steven Williams): The Duke of Crystal Lake! He’s A-Number One! It’s Steven Williams! The guy’s a goddamn charmer. How was I not going to rank Creighton Duke as the top character in JASON GOES TO HELL? He’s basically the best character in the franchise. He talks shit about Jason delivering that memorable “hot dog through a donut” line with a calm, cool timbre. He breaks fingers as a system of currency in giving people beneficial information. Most importantly, he’s got this swagger (he hits on the Sheriff’s girlfriend in front of the Sheriff — which, yes is a dick move, but the Sheriff’s kind of a dick, so win?). The only downside is that Creighton exists solely as an expository role — during the aforementioned finger breaking, he tells a whole lot of story. He also gets himself arrested. If this was intentional — unlikely of course — then he’s not that good a bounty hunter folks. And frankly, the final battle with Jason just ends with a whimper. Look, I love that a female is really the only one badass enough to send Jason to Hell, but I wish that with all the build-up Creighton had, he would’ve tussled with Jason a little bit longer. Alas, Jason breaks his back, making Duke the donut and Jason the hot dog.

 

Randy (played by Kipp Marcus): Randy’s really the only Jason condom that gets any sort of character before he’s possessed, other than Phil the coroner.  I never truly jived to what Randy’s relationship with Steven is. It’s close enough for Randy to ardently defend Steven as innocent in the murder of Diana. Perhaps they were high-school buddies. That’s always been my read on the matter. He’s always getting beaten up by Steven. I think almost all their scenes together in the unrated and theatrical cut end with Steven punching him. I do love their little back and forth at the cop car towards the end of the film.  And then thanklessly, he gets possessed by Jason at the end of the film,  Randy gets his throat hacked open, and a demon covered in ramen noodles comes out, leading the way for Jason’s resurrection. I don’t like that Randy is talking when Jason possessed, because that doesn’t track with what Jason’s acted like the entire film, but what are you going to do. My favorite shot of Randy in the film is his watery, possessed eyes right before he’s about to transfer the Voorheesian demon to the baby. It looks dreamy and distant. Anyways, my sister thought Kipp Marcus was cute, so that’s why he tops the list.

 

Steven (played by John D. LeMay): There’s quite a bit of pros and cons with regard to Steven. It would be easy enough to write off Steven as a geeky, meek pushover. I mean, the hosts of We Hate Movies called him “Earthworm Jim.” But that’s doing him a disservice, because John LeMay has a geeky charm to him. He handles himself with aplomb at points when he needs to. I can appreciate the laser-like focus he has in protecting Jessica and his unborn child, throwing Jessica over his shoulder to protect her from Robert-Jason caveman style. He allows Creighton to break his fingers for the hot deets on how to kill Jason. He breaks out of jail after assaulting his friend, police officer Randy, becoming an outlaw on the run from a murder rap. And they say the characters in JASON GOES TO HELL have no nuance. This is a long way from horned-up teenagers. I also appreciates that he goes toe to toe with the visages of Jason THREE TIMES, handily, but realistically taking on the real Jason at the film’s end. He puts up a fight, but still gets his ass whomped. He’s also noble, turning down the prospect of sex with a hitchhiker to go and see the mother of his girlfriend. Hindsight being 20/20, this is probably for the best as he would’ve ended up butchered. But he would’ve avoided a murder rap too, so … Negative-wise? This guy ditches his gorgeous girlfriend and unborn child, for reasons we don’t know. Also, he beats up his friend (?) a lot.

 

 

Luke/Boy Camper (played by Michael B. Silver): As with the previous entry’s Dan, this dummy decides to go camping around an area Jason’s known to prowl in. He’s the typical good-looking beefcake that comes in, gets laid, and gets dead. He’s also the one of two guys in the entire franchise to get naked. I know this guy’s name is Luke, because the credits tell me so. If that’s the case, then who the hell’s Tony The Wonder Llama? His dick? This guy constantly talks about his junk, actually; his shrunken pod, among other things. He also casually dismisses safe sex, because the condom flies out of the tent. Like, you couldn’t get up to get it or what? His death scene is off-screen, but it still the most memorable and horrifying, because his girlfriend is skewered in the act of coitus. Imagine going from the euphoric feeling of getting laid to cold, abject terror. Eww.

 

 

Shelby (played by Leslie Jordan): Shelby, a.k.a. Pookie, is a sweetie — being played by the infinitely adorable Leslie Jordan, how could he not be? He’s one half of a Mutt & Jeff marriage with Joey B. The dichotomy between the two: her being the gruff, barking wife to his henpecked husband is pretty funny, switching up the usual clichéd dynamic. They clearly love each other, or maybe it’s a little one sided. He can’t tear himself away from her, and I like that she dips him for a kiss. She, uh, curses him out when he expresses concern for a baby’s well-being. Love is hell and sometimes Shelby has to put on the blinders. I do wonder if Shelby is Ward’s dad, though. I always assumed, yes he was, or that maybe Shelby slid into Joey B’s life to give the kid some grounding from his hectoring New Yawk mother. It’s the little touches like the way he helps her pull the slide back on the gun, or goes head over heels for her at the drop of a hat. Poor Shelby dies, getting boiled in the hot grease of a Fryolator and having his dead body chucked onto a sizzling grill. At least Joey B shows care for him by attempting to thwart Jason from murdering him. he doesn’t work, but she TRIED.

 

 

Phil/Coroner/Jason (played by Richard Gant): I love the way Phil, the unfortunate first victim of Jason, comes into the movie. He’s grumpily pushing a stretcher topped with a body bag filled with smoldering, rotting meat. It’s perfect for Richard Gant’s lovable walrus look. It’s the frumpiest man alive. If he wasn’t possessed after eating a fat heart, he would’ve probably killed everyone in the morgue. Hell, we don’t get his name until after his dead meat assistant comes in, after he’s been taken over by Jason. I love the militant way he rattles off the details of Jason’s autopsy, providing color commentary all the while. “This guy’s deader than shit” being a choice funny line. And the way he looks at the dark heart of Jason Voorhees? He’s either going to fuck it or eat it. I personally think Richard Gant’s performance of Jason is the best in the film. He gets the memorable kills. He emulates Kane’s mannerisms the best, getting the prestigious honor of murdering the out-of-costume Mr. Hodder. His death is off-screen, but we know that he melts after transferring the demon slug. Not that it skeeves me out, but why did he need to shave the next victim before transferring the Jason essence?

 

 

Sheriff Ed (played by Billy Green Bush): Sheriff Ed is kind of a dick. He gets all up in Creighton Duke’s face almost as soon as he enters the film. I get that Duke made lascivious comments towards his girl, but he’s ready to fight from Jump Street. He’s got nothing to worry about. Have you seen ’80s Billy Green Bush? That low-rent Sam Elliot look with the lesser Southern lilt? Dude, you gotta lock Erin Gray down if you’re that self-conscious about other gentlemen callers. He also shows no investigative prowess as a police officer, arresting Steven without any evidence that Steven committed the murder of Diana. Hell, he doesn’t even show anything resembling a relationship with Diana, aside from a few lines and crying over her dead body. So you have a character that just serves as being a problem to impede our leads from getting their jobs done. He even wastes his opportunity is stopping Jason later, just running at the killer, gun drawn, getting his nose broken in the process. I know he’s an old-timer, but damn has he ever fought anyone? JASON GOES TO HELL is Billy Green Bush’s last film so far. Ed dies after getting daggered by Jessica in the heart, making her the second non-Voorhees person to kill an innocent person aside from Wayne back in JASON TAKES MANHATTAN.

 

 

Robert/Jason (played by Steven Culp): Robert’s an odd character in the film. For the first half of JASON GOES TO HELL, he’s just a newscaster on American Case File, and a scene shows up to indicate that he’s in a romantic relationship with Jessica. He even offers the bounty to Creighton to stop Jason, showing that he’s got the public’s best interest at heart. That’s really it, though. Then, the switch happens and all of a sudden, he becomes a giant asshole, bragging that he stole his girlfriend’s mom’s corpse and then fucking her daughter later. Eww. The film wanted an asshole — Jason and the film delivered one. It’s a weird turn, because it’s out of character for what we’ve been presented so far. Steven Culp’s a handsome guy, but Robert, the character is a tool. Still, this is the Jason that provides us the most carnage in the film, racking up the majority of the body count and most, if not all of the action in the feature. They shoot him up and ram a piece of rebar into his stomach to try to stop him. Robert dies, transferring the slug into Randy at the diner.

 

 

Josh/Jason (played by Andrew Bloch): This cheating (I believe the context of the scene when Edna gets killed is that someone was cheating on their spouse) butthead serves as the second vessel that Jason transfers his essence in to. before he dies, he serves as a jump scare, freaking Diana out as she feeds a stray dog and gets some ice. No more to it than that. Andrew Bloch looks about as good as you’d expect a deputy in a small New Jersey town to look. He gets to be part of the memorable shaving scene, but otherwise gets hardly anything to do. He kills Diana and transfers the slug in to Robert.  Before he “dies,” he gets shot in the back of the head, and gets a poker through his heart. I do like his gnarly body melting scene showing us what happens when Jason leaves a body. It’s a neat reversal of Frank’s resurrection in HELLRAISER. The melting of Josh is the height of KNB’s special effects prowess and it shows. One thing of note, and again, this may be unintentional: Josh was the original name of Jason when Victor Miller wrote the script for FRIDAY THE 13th. It’s a neat bit of trivia, and may not even be trivia at all. So there.

 

 

Ward (played by Adam Cranner): Joey B’s little kiddo bounces back and forth between compassionate friend (he gives Steven the keys to his car so he can get to the Voorhees house) and dunderhead (he gets his burger-making process nitpicked by his mother). He’s kind of the Harold of the film, only seen in his grill attire, and I think he dies with a smear of grease on his forehead. He’s the greasy slob only a mother could love. And when he gets a gun to be the big man who saves the day, he just spins the gun around his finger. What’s his mental state supposed to be? Childlike? I do love Joey’s line, “Watch the willy,” coupled with his follow-up, “Ma!” At least he confronts Robert to try and stop him. It doesn’t work and he gets his arm broken in a really nasty effect. I assume we see his death off-screen, because we just see his body slammed against the glass doors. That’s that for Ward.

 

 

 


JASON X (2001)

 

 

Jason goes to the future and into space, captured by teenage scientists and Marines. He’ll stalk and slash his way through cargo bays, corridors and blonde scientist hotties. And he gets propositioned by two topless hologram counselors. Oh, and he’s remade as a death-metal album cover. X’s times the charm as we rank the men of JASON X.

 

Brodski (played by Peter Mensah): Part of what makes Brodski such an ingratiating character is the way he’s written, but the majority credit goes to Peter Mensah for imbuing him with flesh and blood life outside of the written word. Brodski’s a buff, wisecracking badass, and it would’ve been so easy to write him as the militant dickhead, but screenwriter Todd Farmer brilliantly eschews this, giving Brodski a lethal dosage of pathos, but still allowing him to be tough and kickass enough to take on Jason multiple times throughout the film. My favorite moment showing how much Brodski cares is a quick moment, but a character-building one. Professor Lowe offers Brodski a shitload of money to capture Jason alive. Brodski agrees. Then, when he briefs his soldiers, he tells them to blow Jason to hell and shoot him in the legs to indicate they tried to take him alive. Again, it’s a small moment, but establishes who the guy is – that money is not a means to sacrifice human life. Also, later a soldier captures Jason and shoots him in the legs. His soldiers listen to him. The guy’s fucking funny too. When Jason stabs him in the stomach, he says “It’s gonna take more than a poke in the ribs to put down this old dog.” Then Jason stabs him again – “Yeah, that oughta do it.” Oh man, that’s the kind of humor this film’s missing! Brodski has several near misses with death, but he ultimately dies by burning up on entry through the atmosphere while flying on Jason’s back. At least he dies a hero.

 

Tsunaron (played by Chuck Campbell): Tsunaron is the smart guy on the ship but doesn’t rub it in anyone’s faces. He’s the encyclopedic tether attaching the past to the present in the film. He bucks the trend of nerdy guy getting wiped out by Jason, by surviving to the end of the film. Part of that has to do with his weird, futuristic LARS AND THE REAL GIRL relationship with Kay-Em, though this is way less creepy than that film because of how Chuck Campbell and Lisa Ryder sell the relationship. Though I have to ask, when he talks about upgrading her to fight Jason, does that mean he fucked her? Is this the UPGRADE that Leigh Whannell is selling us on? I like that he and Rowan comes up with the virtual Camp Crystal Lake to sidetrack Jason while they escape, Tsunaron’s big contribution being two topless counselors that Jason can murder. The banter between him and Rowan in this scene is top-notch. He’s a likable and handsome guy, but if he has any hopes of sleeping with a woman that doesn’t run on zeroes and ones, he’s got to change that goddamn shirt.

 

 

Waylander (played by Derwin Jordan): I liked that Waylander was the smart, techie guy. He wasn’t the hornball or the stoner. His look on the ship screams studly, early-2000s boy bander with the requisite post-grunge goatee. His outfit is one puka shell necklace away from having him say, “Let me tell you about my chakras.” I wish they’d given him more to do with Janessa, perhaps or any other thing going towards a relationship especially given his little banter with Janessa. Plus it would’ve gotten her out of that awful teacher relationship. I also appreciate the little nod to Weyland-Yutani with his name.  His role as crew on the ship serves a purpose — to help the others survive. He’s not expendable. He tries to help Crutch with getting the escape ship going or trying to help Rowan lug the wounded Brodski across the ship.  As a matter of fact, he stands toe to toe with Jason to prevent him from killing Janessa and Rowan at all costs. Waylander’s death is actually a complete rip from EVENT HORIZON (he blows the explosives, disconnecting parts of the ship). It’s off-screen, but he got blown to bits, and not by Jason’s hand actually.

 

 

Stoney (played by Yani Gellman): With a name like Stoney, you’d think he’d be the stoner. Not so much. He’s really just the sexpot male companion to Kinsa. He’s supposed to be there to help out with Jason, but runs off to score with Kinsa. This bozo is one-half responsible for the resurrection of Jason in the first place. Keep it in your pants, Stoney! He dies pretty quickly after Jason’s brought back, getting a quick machete to the gut, spraying blood all over his girlfriend (the splatter of blood being flung into the actresses’ eyes burned her). The thing is, other than the fact that he compliments her brains and beauty, there’s no indication that he deeply meant something to Kinsa, to the point that his death traumatizes her.

 

 

Dallas (played by Todd Farmer): The second character to have an ALIEN reference in their name, Dallas is hardly in the film, only having one scene before he’s dispatched. But it’s enough to showcase the nifty VR segment that would come into play later on in the film’s climax. Since Dallas is played by screenwriter Todd Farmer, we all know he’s a big old hunk. I love the annoyed way that he says, “Okay, screw this. Game over,” when Jason cuts off his avatar’s head. He gets to showcase his badassery trying to stop Jason, shooting at the undead killer, but it’s not enough, because Jason smashes his head against a wall.

 

 

Azrael (played by Dov Tiefenbach): Though he tries to put up a fight against Jason (okay, climbing on Jason’s back and yelling at him), Azrael is your stereotypical buffoon. From minute one, he’s always clowning around, getting a frozen mug stuck to his hand and while trying to break the mug loose, jostles Jason out of his cryogenic chamber and gets his arm cut off. His reaction to getting his arm cut off is like someone stepping on a Lego. His dazed behavior, playing with his cutoff arm, coupled with that rattail hair (coupled with his rat-like demeanor) leads me to believe he’s got to be the stoner of the bunch – though this isn’t indicated in the film but hey, it makes sense. He’s at least adept at playing games, as we see in the VR segment, but is ultimately killed when Jason breaks his back over his knee.

 

 

Dr. Wimmer (played by David Cronenberg): “I don’t want him frozen, Rowan. I want him soft.” Dr. Wimmer is one of two people who attempt to use Jason Voorhees for their own nefarious means. In Wimmer’s case, it’s to analyze Jason’s ability to regenerate. His lack of consideration for others safety makes him a big old slimeball. He’s a little reminiscent of his earlier role, Dr. Decker. He runs off when the shit hits the fan and Jason starts laying waste to his soldiers. The best part of the evil Dr. Wimmer’s role in the film is David Cronenberg. His icy-cool way of speaking, coupled with his magnificent Jarmuschian coif. That hair is really what sells me on the blessedly evil character of Dr. Wimmer. Dr. Wimmer dies when Jason flings a spear across the room, stabbing through his back and out his chest.

 

 

Fat Lou (played by Boyd Banks): Despite his name, Fat Lou is not fat, though he is named Lou. He’s the typical dead meat pilot of the ship who gets wiped out to escalate the need to get off the ship and survive . The majority of his time spent in the film is spent enjoying the Gs wafting through his body when the ship takes off, commenting on his loneliness (his thirst for this unseen female that the students bring aboard the ship is almost a running gag), or providing commentary on the shenanigans around him. Jason chops him the hell up with a machete, flinging his body parts about like a blender without a lid on it. His death also causes the ship to crash into a space station, killing untold thousands of people. Oofta.

 

 

Crutch (played by Philip Williams): Crutch is the engineer aboard the ship, we know this because he says as much and is apparently always getting dunked on by Lou (Crutch threatens to put a hose in Lou’s bunk). He’s adept in helping the others and bizarrely survives a very long time in the film. I just love his odd way of reacting to Jason’s appearance. He turns to his left, sees Professor Lowe’s head and yells out “we’ve got company!” It’s almost cartoonish! In a way he reminds me of Harold from PART 3, similar body build and disgustingness – he uses Waylander’s coat to wipe the blood and guts off of Lou’s earpiece. Weirdly, he reminds me a lot of Chuck from the same film. His name sounds phonetically similar and he even dies in the same manner, getting electrocuted after getting thrown against an electrical grid.

 

 

Dieter Perez (played by Robert A. Silverman): Who the hell is Dieter Perez? They never explain his relationship to Professor Lowe (and if they did, I missed it), or who he is in the film’s universe. Is he another professor? Professor Lowe’s best friend? Dieter serves as the expository mouthpiece to tell us the long, storied history of Jason Voorhees – he’s looks a little like Crazy Ralph/Abel/Deck Hand, and like those fellas, no one listens to him at all. I love that for the majority of his screen-time, he’s lying in a bed (which had to be an easy sell to the actor. “Hey, you get to lay down for the entirety of your on-camera work”), talking about Jason or bitching out Professor Lowe.

 

 

Professor Lowe (played by Jonathan Potts): Professor Lowe is another in a long line of unscrupulous adults in the FRIDAY THE 13th universe. He starts out just fine, but later yells at his students at the drop of a hat. He’s not above stealing the credit and getting all the money for finding Jason Voorhees. He’s hooking up with his student, Janessa (which at least seems to be okay with her) to give her good grades in return and he doesn’t seem to care that everyone’s dying on the ship, so long as he gets to take Jason Voorhees. His death scene is pretty memorable, he tries to bargain with Jason and offer him money (wouldn’t it have been funny if that had worked?). But Jason just snatches his old trusty machete up (“he just wanted his machete back!”) and though Lowe is killed off-screen, we later see that Jason at the very least decapitated him. It’s about time someone took that nutsack down a peg.

 

 

 

FREDDY VS. JASON (2003)

 

Ohio’s favorite dream pervert meets the plague of New Jersey as Freddy Krueger resurrects the hockey masked hulk to kill the children of Springwood to make them fear him again. Watch as Jason breaks up a rave and kills a rapist, Freddy gets homophobic slurs hurled at him and attempts to sexually assault our heroine multiple times. God, 2003 was weird. Let your eardrums bleed with the soothing beats of Ill Nino. While Freddy and Jason face off, we’ll take the time to rank the men of FREDDY VS. JASON.

 

Linderman (played by Chris Marquette): It would’ve been so easy for the writers to treat Linderman like the stereotypical geek that the FRIDAY franchise has regularly trafficked in, but to their credit they give him a little nuance that we got in characters like Shelly and Jimmy. It also helps that Chris Marquette is believable as an adorable high schooler. Really, the only clichés that his character falls victim to is that he’s bullied by the jocks (they don’t beat him up, but just force him to chug a beer), he has asthma and that he has to pay for sex (jury’s still out on this, because it was part of a Freddy nightmare). He pines after Lori, but it’s never anything overtly creepy, more puppy love than anything. It’s a nice character moment when he sticks up for himself after Kia rejects him on Lori’s behalf. It’s a little odd how Lori reacts to him defending himself, but at least she doesn’t hate him as much as she hates Blake, the other suitor who attempts to woo her. I think it’s sweet that after he yells at Kia, she takes him to dance with her. It’s a nice micro-moment for both characters. I also like that he tries to fend off Jason with a gun. I don’t think he shoots Jason at all, but he at least yells at the killer, which is more than other potential victims do. His death is particularly sad – Jason throws him into a wall bracket, it pierces his back and Kia picks him up and walks him off into the woods. He tells her to go on and get help, she refuses at first, trying to help him, but finally she relents and leaves him. He waits until she’s gone and then he dies, blood pouring out of his wound. It’s pretty goddamn sad.

 

Will (played by Jason Ritter): Jason Ritter’s a good-looking dude (picked it up from his dad after all), but he feels like the same white-bread final guy that makes a final stand against Jason, only to have the final girl kick undead killer ass instead. There’s a little bit of drama in that he was wrongfully committed to Westin Hills by her father, but this is more of a soap-opera storyline for Will than something that belongs in a FRIDAY THE 13th film or in a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET film (though it feels closer to the latter). It’s innately shitty that he was done wrong by Lori’s father, and that’s where I extend my sympathy for Will. And digging in further, why did Will see Lori’s dad stabbing Lori’s mother? Was he dreaming? How does this make sense? Part of the problem is that Jason Ritter is acting with his teeth in all the dramatic scenes (he’s either grimacing or laughing) and despite the film’s insistence that Lori and Will’s love is made in the stars, I can’t see it for any strong dramatic or romantic purpose, beyond the fact that Ritter and Monica Keena (oh, I crushed on her in the ’90s) are two attractive people that their friends insist belong together. My key favorite moments are when he totally shits the bed on fighting Jason or Freddy (that’s kind of a tradition in both film franchises though), pulls his girlfriend away while she tries to help her friend in danger, wrecks Mark’s dead brother’s van, and the way he yells “Kia, he has asthma!” is so hilarious. Oh, and Freddy rudely calls him a bitch.

Mark (played by Brendan Fletcher): I love the character of Mark in FREDDY VS. JASON. Brendan Fletcher’s always been a likable, good-looking, and ingratiating actor (his moment dealing with the mental patient about Uno while chatting with Will is a nice character beat). And once Will tells him they’ve got to break out to protect Lori, Mark’s at the ready, distracting the guards (by rubbing his naked ass on the glass, making monkey noises and farting) to steal their keycard to escape. I hate the way Mark is underutilized in FREDDY VS. JASON. Will and Mark created this fantastic detective dichotomy they ruin in lieu of ramping up the Lori/Will love story.  He starts out the film as a close friend of Will in Westin Hills, and he’s very knowledgeable on the entirety of Freddy’s history, so much so that our hero defers to him on the legend of the dream demon. But they screw it up by having him bring up the Freddy legend in a hallway full of high schoolers (though thankfully he recognizes that he makes this mistake). You’re telling me this guy, so self-aware that they’ve erased Freddy’s memory, would risk bringing him up again to give Krueger the power? It feels a little ridiculous. But what’s worse about this whole development is they kill off a particularly useful character who could’ve helped our leads, but they instead kill him off in a patented Freddy nightmare (which begs the question, how long were Will and Mark out of Westin Hills? How long does it take for Hypnocil to leave your system? Should they have been able to dream?). His death sequence, the only one I can think that Freddy actually does in this film, is a neat dream sequence (love the shot of the pill rolling down the drain. Freddy stabs him in the legs with bloody tendrils and then claws across his face and sets him on fire, using Mark to send a message. It’s a classic Freddy death for a character that deserved more.

 

 

Deputy Stubbs (played by Lochlyn Munro): Deputy Stubbs is a waste of Lochlyn Munro’s glorious frosted tips. Putting aside the sheer silliness of a small-town deputy seeking out a bunch of high school kids as helpers to take down two supernatural killers, he just brings nothing to the proceedings except as an expositional mouthpiece so the kids know the Jason side of things. I also want to know how the hell he found them. He mentions that their Scooby van out front was incognito, but it’s not any of the kids’ van. It’s Mark’s brother’s van! And the last person to be driving it was Mark! My only reasoning is that his brainwaves work on Courier New font. At first it seems like Stubbs is going to factor in more to the investigative proceedings – after all, he’s the one who brings the Jason Voorhees information to the sheriff and is immediately shot down, but he seems like he’s going to be a vested part of the gang’s attempts to take down Freddy and Jason. Alas, it’s not to be, as he’s killed when Jason swings at an electric console, hits it, and grabs Stubbs as he attempts to run by, turning himself into an electrical conduit and zapping Stubbs, give the film a fried-up Munro.

 

 

Freeburg (played by Kyle Labine): If Chuck was a Chong expy, then Freeburg is a clear rip-off of Jay (of Silent Bob fame). He’s mostly around to act inappropriately in front of Gibb about her asshole boyfriend’s death, or to react to the killings in a haze of hydroponic. His joke about “that goalie being pissed about something” is pretty dang funny though. But he never rises above the token, tokin’ stoner. What I like is the events surrounding his death, which is another moment where one killer sets them up and the other killer knocks them down. I particularly enjoy the scene where Freeburg walks into the room of catatonic patients and they all rise up and whisper. Felt like old-school NIGHTMARE. The way he’s ultimately killed off is: Freddy lures him into a nightmare to destroy all the Hyponocil, the second hallucinogenic nightmare in the Freddy series, if I’m correct (I love the freakiness of the demonic caterpillar – reminds me of a Graboid). Freddy ultimately works to use him as a vessel to stop Jason by possessing him and drugging Jason with that Pepto-Bismol goo. It works, mostly. Freddy uses Freeburg to call Will a bitch and Jason chops him in half (a nice practical effect) with his trusty, rusty machete. Also, he pronounces intestines weird. Of note: Kyle Labine is one of the only actors (thanks to the Canadian-ifcation of most franchises) to be in a HALLOWEEN (sort of … because RESURRECTION never happened), a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and a FRIDAY THE 13th film.

 

 

Bobby/Mark’s Brother (played by Zack Ward): I love his design aesthetic for his van, because I enjoy the hell out of the black light interior. Bobby’s not physically in the film, only in pictures and memories. But Zack Ward makes the most of his brief appearance in the film. And also, Scut Farkus grew up to be a handsome dude. It’s a hell of an entry in the scene; he rises out of a bathtub filled with blood, slit wrists spurting blood, and Freddy speaks through his dead visage to fuck with poor Mark. He might be one of the only rare suicides in the entire franchise that neither killer had any involvement with if the backstory for Mark and his brother are any indication. However, I randomly thought back to Kristen in DREAM WARRIORS and how Freddy made her look like she attempted to slit her wrists. Is there something more there? I’m curious. The dead brother plot always bizarrely reminded me of the dead brother plot point in DISTURBING BEHAVIOR. To each his own, but that’s where my brain goes.

 

 

Blake (played by David Kopp): I don’t really understand why the film wants us to hate Blake.  Sure he dresses douchey and he has a douchey name (BLAKE)! It’s mostly because the film wants to set him up as a gross pig so we can see why Lori would ignore him in lieu of pining after Will.  Sure, he’s hovering around Lori for the majority of their scenes together at the beginning, and he scratches his balls right out in the open, and he hangs out with King Prick Trey, but he really doesn’t do anything that would lead us to believe he’s a complete jerk. At least that’s not how I read him. Hell, even after the death of his friend he vows revenge! His death scene is so fucking hilarious. Freddy lures him out into the street and scares Blake with a goat. Then, Shadow Freddy leaps up and stabs at him and completely passes through him. Blake’s reaction is that of a kid rides a really scary water slide for the first time. His actual death comes when he wakes from the nightmare and knocks his dad’s decapitated head off (so Jason propped a decapitated head onto a dead body, then waited for the kid to wake up? Not his MO.) He gets a killing blow from Jason’s machete, spraying blood everywhere. Then, to add insult to injury, he’s blamed for all the murders!

 

 

Blake’s Father (played by Brent Chapman): Blake’s father looks like Alex Jones. That’s all. Well, he yells at his son who’s in mourning after the violent murder of his friend. Instead of dying from a chili induced heart attack, he’s decapitated by Jason, then has his head attached as part of Mr. Voorhees candid camera prank show, I guess?

 

 

Sheriff Williams (played by Garry Chalk): There’s always three kinds of law enforcement in horror movies – the asshole, the one harboring dark secrets, and the ones who exist to protect our heroes. For Sheriff Williams, two out of three ain’t bad. He’s the typical swinging dick sheriff who’s always chomping on a cigar and chomping on scenery. There’s not much meat to the character, other than trying to tamp down the Freddy fear and aside from a few scenes, he doesn’t have an overall part in the whole plot. He’s merely an expositional key in the film to tell us they’ve shut the door on talking about Freddy (a part of the plot I actually enjoy in FREDDY VS. JASON) to make him go away.

 

Shack (played by Chris Gauthier)/Teammate (played by Colby Johannson): Chris Gauthier is built like a Texas football player. But he ain’t believable as a high schooler. He’s the guy who hangs out behind the liquor store and buys beer for teenagers. Also, I love his line, “This Everclear is kicking my ass!” Shack’s death scene is pretty badass. He spits Everclear (not Santa Monica) on Jason and then sets him on fire. Then, Jason cuts a fiery swath through the cornfield, lumbering after the fat footballer. Then, just as Shack makes it to the clearing and supposed freedom, Jason throws his flaming machete straight through Shack’s chest, killing the team’s chance of winning the season. Also, I’ll never not be able to notice the actor holding blood in his mouth as he runs towards the camera, ready to give the audience a crimson spit take.

BONUS ROUND: Shack’s dead-meat teammate (he was that dick Greg on Reaper), has the audacity to jab Jason in the chest with his finger (which is funny), and then Jason grabs his head and spins it one hundred and eighty degrees (which I hate – it’s too cartoony).

 

 

Dr. Campbell (played by Tom Butler): Lori’s father, Dr. Campbell, is a real piece of work. He’s one of the more typical parents you’d find in a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET film. Remember in my earlier entry on Sheriff Williams about how law enforcement is always either harboring a secret, they’re an asshole or they’re out to help our heroes? The same can be said for parents and again, we’re going to check two out of three boxes for dear Dr. Campbell. First, he’s covered up the murder of his wife by Freddy from his daughter Lori, by faking that she died in a car accident. How? Closed casket? Did he stab Lori’s mother? Why was he hovering over Lori’s mother with a knife? He also commits Will and then nearly strangles the poor kid. I get you’re trying to keep Freddy a secret, but how far is too far? Attempted murder? And if I can attempt to psychoanalyze for a moment – if dreams and nightmares are telling us something our subconscious is concealing, then why does Lori’s father always try to sexually assault her in her dreams? Either we chalk it up to Freddy being a complete and utter pig, or there’s some deep-seated trauma Lori is concealing with regards to her father. There’s one scene where he comforts Lori, but otherwise, he’s always a scowling prick. He’s also a completely wasted character, disappearing from the film entirely after Lori runs away from home.

 

 

Trey (played by Jesse Hutch): There was a tidal change in the FRIDAY franchise as the series entered into the aughts. No longer content to have thinly-sketched but likable victims, they had to add thinly-sketched asshole victims to the mix. We’re not supposed to feel joy when Jason kills his victims but rather we’re cheering the execution of their death. We’re gore-hounds who love to see whatever manner of murder befalls them. But this became confused, because the writers in future endeavors started thinking we needed to make a victim an asshole so that not only would we love to see whatever the gore-slingers behind the scenes cooked up for their demise, we would be happy to see the character murdered. Thus, the asshole boyfriend (teacher, adult, friend, and girlfriend) became an archetype. For the entirety of Trey’s time in FREDDY VS. JASON, he’s a colossal prick, disgusted after kissing his girlfriend because she’s a smoker or telling her not to touch him after sex (real Patrick Bateman move, sociopath), or being a demanding dick cause you want a massage. Dude, you’re dating Katherine Isabelle – if anything, she’s dating down! It’s this real gross, psychologically-abusive relationship. Even after he’s dead and shows up as a manifestation of Freddy, he’s a real jackass to his girl. His death is a pretty great one, though. Jason stabs him through his back, and then after he’s near death, folds him up in the bed. Apparently audiences at the time cheered at this death.

 

 


FRIDAY THE 13th (2009)

 

 

In this mish-mash of the first four FRIDAY films, we watch as Jason grows from a little presumed-to-be-drowned boy, to a bag-headed menace, all the way to a hockey-masked legend. He’ll kill perverted pot farmers, cheating-dog boyfriends, sex-obsessed bozos, and a hunky Winchester before swan-diving face-first into a wood chipper. Let’s reboot our ranking for the last time … for now… when we rank the men of FRIDAY THE 13th!

 

 

Clay (played by Jared Padalecki): Ostensibly, Clay Miller (he takes his surname from the original film’s screenwriter, Victor Miller) is supposed to be a little like the Rob character from THE FINAL CHAPTER, searching for a missing sister rather than seeking revenge for a dead one. At least, that’s what I assume the screenwriters’ intentions were. I also get a sense of an older Tommy Jarvis in Clay, with a brother and sister in peril with Jason smack dab in the middle. Clay is much more successful at his search than Rob, also at doing literally everything else. He’s got a lot of smarts and you can sense that he could handle himself in a fight with a snob like Trent. But he still gets his ass handed to him by Jason multiple times. But at least in this film, Clay’s never set up to be a hunter out for blood. He’s just an average guy, so when he stumbles upon a badass backwoods hunter like Jason, it makes sense that he’d be bested in combat. Hell, Jason would’ve nearly killed him by grinding his face into a wood chipper, if not for his sister saving the day. Jared Padalecki does more than serviceable work as Clay, his rugged good looks and deep voice causes Danielle Panabaker’s Jenna to fall in love with him instantly. I like the character at the core, because he’s truly got a sympathetic story in the whole film, he fought with his sister the last time they spoke and is now guilty over it all.  This endears us to him.  You actually want to see him reunite with his sister. It’s a mark that shows how far characterization has come in these films. Though he’s always portrayed as the white knight, there is a moment we he does act like a dick and it’s in the gas station when he’s holding up the line by trying to convince the clerk to put up the missing person fliers. Trent is right in that Clay’s holding up the line, but Trent is also a dick 99.99 percent of the time so … Clay’s fate is ultimately unknown as Jason bursts from the lake in the film’s closing moments, pulling his sister underwater as we smash cut to black.

 

Mike (played by Nick Mennell): I actually liked Mike a lot as a character. Nick Mennell has that perfect shaggy late-2000s look that all the ladies swooned over, where guys changed from grunge to emo. Mike has a nice, lived-in relationship with Whitney, he’s genuinely invested in making her weekend better, to forget her sick mother for just a brief moment. It’s a nice touch that he’s the caring boyfriend, following orders at her mother’s behest. It also helps that Mennell and Amanda Righetti have good chemistry. The only time Mike pulls off a dick move is when he declines to leave the ruined cabin at Camp Crystal Lake, despite his girlfriend making it clear that she’s ready to get the hell out. At least he wisely bolts after he finds the severed head of Mrs. Voorhees. Mike’s death is pretty hardcore – Jason stabs up through the floor of the cabin, first into his feet and then into his hand. He’s killed when Jason pulls him through the floor and presumably stabs him in the stomach with a machete, but since it’s off-screen, I can only meet the murder halfway. Bonus fact: Mennell has remake clout, as he starred as Bob in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN remake a couple of years earlier.

 

 

Richie (played by Ben Feldman): Richie is the typical sex-and-drug-obsessed friend that gets dragged along on these camping outings. It’s weird to see Ben Feldman in such a sweaty, sexed-up role as I’m used to him as white-bread Jonah on Superstore or the nebbish, self-mutilating Ginsberg on Mad Men. Not that I’d imagine Richie having any problem getting it, so to speak. He’s got a real sexually-charged relationship with his girlfriend – note the way he responds when she slaps a mosquito off her ass (calls himself “Daddy,” which… okay). He’s partnering with Wade on snatching the weed crops, and their relationship is fun and full of banter, like friends would be in real life. That BLUE VELVET reference is A-plus. Though he clowns around with Wade, and acts horned up for the majority of his screen time, I also like that Richie has a little depth of maturity when he comes to discussing the counselor that murdered Mrs. Voorhees. I wonder what his and Wade’s relationship is though, as Richie accuses Wade of whacking it and watching himself and his girlfriend getting it on in the tent. At least Richie is a generous lover, as he offers to wait on his girlfriend to finish together. Ooh, Richie’s death is messed up! First, he gets blue balls, which are pretty much a fate worse than death. Then, he finds his friend murdered. T-t-t-then, he steps in a bear trap, ripping his leg to shreds. And then, he has to watch his girlfriend get immolated to death. THEN, he gets a machete buried in his head.   

 

Wade (played by Jonathan Sadowski): Wade is the know-it all who offers up asinine facts about ridiculous topics (like the sterile nature of piss and that you can drink it), much to the chagrin of those around him. Wade is a good-looking geek, but one gets the sense that if he took off his glasses, he would blossom into a handsome geek, a la a gender-reversed SHE’S ALL THAT. The receipts for his geek bonafides feel a little bit like nerd cosplay – see the references to STAR WARS and GPS satellites. Wade is there to offer up the exposition about the Camp Crystal Lake murders, in a genuinely nice take on the campfire ghost stories scene. Also, the Crystal Lake water riff is pretty funny. Ben Feldman and Jonathan Sadowski have great chemistry as a pair of ball-busting friends. At least Wade has the wherewithal to be a good wingman to vamoose when Richie and his girlfriend, Amanda, are ready to plow. I particularly enjoyed the whole scene where Wade is prattling on about the GPS satellites and Amanda is showing off her goods to Richie behind Wade’s back. The face he makes when he sees the bra fly over Richie’s head is genuinely excellent. Wade is killed in the woods, while listening to Night Ranger and after pissing on a cannabis plant. Jason runs him through with a machete and chops off his ears.

 

 

Nolan (played by Ryan Hansen): Nolan’s the pretty-boy partier of the bunch (one could sense him being an actor/caterer in another life), and how could he not be played the immensely handsome Ryan Hansen. Nolan splits the difference between having the good looks of the other blonde party boy, Trent, but none of his assholish, boorish behavior. He openly talks shit to Trent (point into the pros column) when Trent asks him to pump gas, I believe there was talk of fellatio as a currency exchange. He’s clearly a sensitive soul, note his “F*** Christmas” shirt. He wants to be edgy, but not offend anyone. He also calls himself a sociopath for driving Trent’s SUV wildly and taking the boat out onto the lake. Nah. Trent’s a knob. You’re doing right, Nolan. At least he goes out with a bang, watching a topless Willa Ford waterski. Jason shoots an arrow through his head, in a shock kill that still has the power to startle. Bonus: it’s extremely fucked up that Nolan’s dead body falls forward onto the boat’s throttle, driving the boat straight into his girlfriend.

 

Lawrence (played by Arlen Escarpeta): Lawrence is unfortunately treated as a stereotypical black character at first. The first conversation he has with Trent is about how Trent asks him to pump gas, and since Lawrence is black, this ultimately means Trent is racist. It’s a little tone deaf, Larry. Maybe this is some game for Lawrence, because he pulls the same “guilt trip” on Chelsea, Nolan’s girlfriend when she assumes that his music label (a dropped little character beat if there ever was one) is for rap music. It is, but this time it feels like he’s being playful with her, as opposed to dead serious with Trent. Who knows? The rest of his time is spent getting drunk, stoned, and trying to flog the bishop in the living room to a winterwear catalogue. Really, Larry? That’s a shared space, dude. And it’s not like Arlen Escarpeta’s an unattractive dude, either. Don’t try to let Chewie (I actually like this moment of him goading Chewie to go talk to her) get at Bree. Get after her yourself. She probably would’ve been game! At least he gets in a few solid hits on Jason when he squares off against him. It’s not enough to stop him though, as Jason flings an axe into his back. It’s kind of messed up actually. Lawrence is screaming for help, and being used as bait. Then, Jason flips him onto his back, smashes down, pushing the axe through his chest. Then, his dead body is left to ferment in the hot tub.

 

 

Chewie (played by Aaron Yoo): You know how there’s always one friend in the group of partiers that thinks the only way to impress the hot girl is doing gross shit and saying odd and alienating things? That’s Chewie in a nutshell. Yes, Aaron Yoo has a fabulous head of hair. But that’s it, man. In a short period of time, he jokes about masturbation, oddly fetishizes his bong (it has a girl’s name) and drinks out of his nasty ass shoe during beer pong (but not before attempting to get said hot girl to drink his sweaty feet beer). Why do you want to come back as the button on the ass pocket of a girl’s jeans? You’ll serve no purpose there, Chewie! He also blows his chance with Bree by fucking upon drinking a shot. And look, I get that Trent’s a dick, but breaking his property is still a fucked up thing to do. I do love that Chewie spends his last moments on earth talking shit about Trent (“my daddy bent me over this chair and beat me when I was little”) and commenting on Jason’s hockey mask while in a stoned haze. His death scene – a prolonged moment where Jason slowly drives a screwdriver into his chin is brutal as hell and Yoo sells the awfulness of the murder.

 

Officer Bracke (played by Richard Burgi): Richard Burgi is a slab of beef carved from the finest sexy marble. But Officer Bracke (pronounced incorrectly, but named after the author of Crystal Lake Memories) spends his time harassing Clay – I suppose in Crystal Lake, the police get upset with the victim’s family when their investigative impotence is made loud and clear – or being called out to the house where Jason is stalking and killing the vacationers, only to get murdered himself. Bracke’s death scene – Jason runs a poker through his head with enough force to break it though the other side of the door (I always see this as an homage to THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 when Amy Irving is killed) is a nice and quick brutally effective murder.

 

Trent (played by Travis Van Winkle): Good lord, Trent is a good-looking dude. He’s that snobby late 2000’s Abercrombie type model that was everywhere in pop culture. And look, I know that Trent is mainly an asshole for the majority of the film that it’s easy to miss the little moments where he’s actually acting like a decent guy. His little moment with Jenna is actually kind of sweet where he offers to go on a walk with her (but it’s undercut by him saying that his sole purpose to get her alone is about getting laid). Or the scene where he offers up his SUV to prove that he’s a stand-up guy (this is a more stellar example that he treats his friends as subservient). I know we’re meant to think that Trent is a dickhead (and he is), but in his first interaction with Clay, Trent’s kind of right. Clay was holding up the line. But beyond that? He’s antagonistic from Jump Street. He invites his friends up to his home for the weekend, but stifles their attempts to party at every turn (which to be fair, they immediately start to try and trash the joint). He cheats on his girlfriend on a dime, deploying the funniest (but worst) dirty talk since the hunk in Slaughter High tried to get his girlfriend hot by saying “tits … fuck … screw.” I almost wonder if it was improv’d by Van Winkle, because it seems so of the moment. Then, he has the gall to yell at his girlfriend while he’s in the act of banging it out with another woman? Ooh, what a butthole. Then, even when shit gets real and Jason starts his bloody rampage, Trent is still in dick mode. Does this guy have an off button? Oh, and he shoots Bree’s dead body and tries blaming the “murder” on Jason. Jesus. My favorite moment before he’s killed? He yells at his gun that he lost! Trent is gutted with a machete and thrown carelessly onto a pile of rebar and driven away by a tow-truck driver.

 

Mr. Garikes (played by Bob King): Mr. Garikes is off-screen for the majority of the film. He’s mentioned by his redneck boy servant Donnie earlier in the film as someone who’d shoot your ass full of buckshot if you stepped onto his property. He later appears in the film as the tow truck driver who nearly runs Trent down. He’s a raspy fella with breathing tubes in his nose: a weird, wispy white-trash guy that populates Crystal Lake. He’s closer to the Hewitt family in the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake than a FRIDAY THE 13th remake. He acts so odd when he pulls over to let Trent in. He just lazily waves Trent forward, only showing urgency when Jason appears to kill Trent. His major contribution to the film is having his property and barn as the setting for the third-act climax where Clay and Whitney best Jason.

 

 

Donnie (played by Kyle Davis): You know how they said the FRIDAY reboot was an amalgam of the first four movies? Well, because of that Platinum Dunes white-trash sheen that occupied their remakes, I can see a little dab of A NEW BEGINNING in their depiction of white trash Crystal Lake townspeople. Donnie’s (who is definitely not a mentally challenged rapper) moments in the film are so deliriously disgusting, it’s almost as if he transported in from a Rob Zombie film. He’s a little bit Junior, a little bit Harold, and all disgusting. He’s got weed-selling on his mind – offering pot to Clay when they talk about Clay’s missing sister. He performs cunnilingus on a magazine, and openly talks to a mannequin about how it (an inanimate object) took his virginity. It’s so grotesque. I do like that Donnie gets in some hits against Jason though, punching him, tearing off his burlap sack, and throwing out those famous last words: “That shit ain’t right!” Donnie was actually killed multiple ways – a slit throat (decapitated in an alternate version) by Jason, with his death allowing Jason to be gifted his trusty hockey mask in the barn where the climax takes place.

 

 

Fun Fact! When gathering all the data to rank the men of FRIDAY THE 13th, I noticed that the names got a tad bit repetitious. I’ve listed them in alphabetical order –

 

 

Bill/Billy – FRIDAY THE 13th (1980), FRIDAY THE 13th: A NEW BEGINNING (1985 ).

 

Eddie – FRIDAY THE 13th: A NEW BEGINNING (1985 ), FRIDAY THE 13th PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988).

 

Jim/Jimmy – FRIDAY THE 13th: THE FINAL CHAPTER, FRIDAY THE 13th PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (two different characters with the same name!).

 

Rick – FRIDAY THE 13th 3-D, FRIDAY THE 13th PART VI: JASON LIVES.

 

Roy – FRIDAY THE 13th: A NEW BEGINNING, FRIDAY THE 13th PART VI: JASON LIVES.

 

Steve/Steven – FRIDAY THE 13th (1980), FRIDAY THE 13th PART VI: JASON LIVES, JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY.

 

Ted – FRIDAY THE 13th PART 2, FRIDAY THE 13th: THE FINAL CHAPTER.

 

Funner Fact!  When collating the data for this list, I noticed that there have been quite a few similarities in deaths over the course of the franchise. Here are all the similar deaths that Mrs. Voorhees, Jason, and Roy have used. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I’m ignoring one-off deaths and Mark’s death in FREDDY VS. JASON for this list –

 

 

 

Slit throat – Bill, Ned (off-screen), Scott, Shelly, Axel, Pete, Duke, Admiral Robertson, Donnie.

 

Stabbed through the throat – Jack, Les, and Chewie.

 

Stabbed in stomach/chest – Barry, Steve Christy, Harold, Neil, Raymond, David, Sheriff Ed, Stoney, Wade, Mike, and Trent.

 

Sharp implement to the face – Mark, Jimmy, Jake, Russell, Richie, and Officer Bracke.

 

Impaled with/on sharp object – Jeff, Loco, Demon, Roy, Darren, Steven, Miles, Dr. Wimmer, and Shack.

 

Hacked up with sharp weapon (axe, machete, etc.) – Andy, Ali, Joey, Roy, Fat Lou, Freeburg, Blake.

 

Electrocuted – Chuck, Wayne, Crutch, and Deputy Stubbs.

 

Head crushed – Rick, Doug, Eddie, Ben, and Dallas.

 

Gardened – Rob (with a rake), Dr. Crews.

 

Sharp implement to the back of head (or back) – Deputy Winslow, Ted, Billy, Michael, Deck Hand, Trey, and Lawrence.

 

Speared – Paul (in the crotch), Jim (in the stomach, Jim (in the back).

 

Knife in the skull – Dr. Matt, Cort.

 

Decapitated – Junior, Larry, Stan, Burt, Eddie, Julius, Randy, Professor Lowe, Blake’s Father.

 

Back break – Sheriff Garris, Creighton, Azrael, and Trey.

 

Heart punched out – Hawes, Dan.

 

Drowning – John, Charles.

 

Possessed/melted – Randy, Josh, Phil, Robert.

 

Off-screen – Luke, Ward.

 

Arrow through the skull – Nolan.

 

 

And last but not least, of all the men on this list, there are only two who appear naked – Ted in THE FINAL CHAPTER and Luke, the boy camper in JASON GOES TO HELL. It’s a hell of a lot less than the female nudity quotient, but it’s a start.

 

 

Special thanks go out to Crystal Lake Memories, Kill by Podcast, and the (hilarious) FRIDAY THE 13th Wikia, www.fridaythe13thfilms.com, and www.fridaythe13thfranchise.com for their help in compiling all this madness.

 

 

 

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a Dallas-based writer of both films and of Internet goings-on. He's also in a movie on Netflix, but won't tell you the title, for fear of transmitting a RINGU-type curse into your home. He can be found on Twitter as @madmanmarz81.
Nathan Smith

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